Querida Amazonia 102-103: Encouraging Women’s Gifts

The post-synodal exhortation offers some final thoughts on the role of women in the Church.

102. We must keep encouraging those simple and straightforward gifts that enabled women in the Amazon region to play so active a role in society, even though communities now face many new and unprecedented threats. The present situation requires us to encourage the emergence of other forms of service and charisms that are proper to women and responsive to the specific needs of the peoples of the Amazon region at this moment in history.

I suspect that sex is involved less than we think in determining charisms and gifts. Over the centuries, and even in recent decades, men-only ministries have shrunk. Does it make sense that our age is special in reaching an ultimate limit? I doubt it.

103. In a synodal Church, those women who in fact have a central part to play in Amazonian communities should have access to positions, including ecclesial services, that do not entail Holy Orders and that can better signify the role that is theirs. Here it should be noted that these services entail stability, public recognition and a commission from the bishop. This would also allow women to have a real and effective impact on the organization, the most important decisions and the direction of communities, while continuing to do so in a way that reflects their womanhood.

That Pope Francis even has to remind people of the importance of basic things like formal recognition from a bishop suggests we have not yet reached a hard limit. I do think we need to move when we can, and do so with confidence.

This document is © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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